Demi Lovato, who uses they/them pronouns (via Instagram), played Dani on “Glee” Season 5. Dani was a member of two of Kurt’s (Chris Colfer) cover bands. Their character had a romantic thing with Santana (Naya Rivera) at a time when Brittana (the nickname for “Glee” couple Brittany and Santana) was briefly on hiatus. When the McKinley High sweethearts eventually got back together later in the season, Dani faded from the show. In the end, Lovato’s Season 5 role lasted just four episodes (via IMDb).
When Lovato appeared on “Glee,” they had just left the Disney fold after their star-making turns in two “Camp Rock” movies and “Sonny with a Chance.” As such, Lovato’s casting as a queer character was seen as a move to break with their straight-laced House of Mouse image. In a September 2013 interview with E! News, they commented on their “Glee” role, saying, “I don’t want people to take from this, ‘Oh my god, Demi is kissing a girl.’ I want people to take from it [that] this is actually an incredible step in our generation today where I’m able to play a young lesbian on primetime TV.”
Years later, Lovato made it known that the role meant a lot as they explored their gender and sexual identity. When Rivera died in 2020, they paid tribute to their former co-star by commenting on Twitter that Santana “was groundbreaking for tons of closeted (at the time) queer girls like me.”